Updated: May 15
The Game Changers is a slick introduction to the world of high-level, plant-based athletes, following the story of, and narrated by, former Ultimate Fighter champion and combat specialist, James Wilks.
During the movie we are taken on a whirlwind tour of the benefits of plant-based nutrition, from the positive impacts it can have on health, to urgently needed environmental relief. Although the production value might give the impression of Hollywood sensationalism, thanks to the movie being produced by the likes of James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the content is in fact well researched, citing all original source material, and features a cohort of leading medical, scientific and environmental experts and institutions, from Harvard University in the US to Chatham House in the UK.
The movie explores and addresses many of the most basic misconceptions and questions that people who opt for a whole-foods, plant-based diet, face. Most commonly “where do you get your protein from if you don’t eat meat?” (here). Or “meat is good for your health so we should all keep eating it” (are you sure?). And more recently “vegan diets are just as harmful to the environment since you have to use more land to grow more plants” (just not true). Of course, there will be people that don’t like what is presented, and indeed upon its release, The Game Changers caused quite a stir among meat lovers (as the new Netflix film Seaspiracy has done more recently). However, whatever your dietary preference, The Game Changers is an inspiring and thought-provoking bit of filmmaking - especially Scott Jurek taking on the Appalachian Trail at a rate of two marathons a day for forty-six days, or the voices of prominent researchers shining a light on what is occurring around the world in order to maintain our unsustainable eating habits.
Even if you don’t like the suggested improvements to personal and environmental health, you can still enjoy it as a decent sporting documentary with some truly inspiring personal stories. For me though, wherever you stand on the issue, the final section on the environment should get everyone thinking twice about the impact our individual food choices have. The level of environmental degradation as a result of what we like to eat is vividly illustrated, and if nothing else, The Game Changers provides weighty food for thought.